Lisa Turtle: The Character That Inspired the Black 90s "It" Girl

Saved by the Bell embodies everything early 90s-- the fashion, the hair, the car phones.   Lisa Turtle was my favorite, for obvious fashion-obsessed reasons.  She had the style and grace of Hillary Banks with more wits, ambition, and a far more versatile wardrobe.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that Turtle influenced both Hillary Banks' character on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as well as Dee from our beloved Clueless.  Here's a list of why we love the child star below.

SHE WAS RESOURCEFUL

Of course Lisa Turtle didn't carry pencils-- but she did have tons of makeup and Revlon nail polish in her Caboodle.  She had to ensure that her manicure lasted through 7th period.

SHE USED HER FATHER'S CREDIT CARD FOR THINGS THAT MATTERED

As the only Black recurring cast member, I loved that her peers always came to her whenever they had financial woes-- whether it was borrowing money outright or convincing her to go on a date with Jessie's blackmailing stepbrother.  She was also the only cast member who was privy of notable designers, causing her to stand out amongst the others.

SHE BELIEVED IN STAYING FIT - & LOOKING FABULOUS WHILE DOING IT!

This was definitely the 90s, where workout videos ruled the world.  Imagine lots of leotards, leg warmers, and scrunchies and there you have it: Bayside Fitness 101.

LISA'S AMBITIONS GOT HER ACCEPTED INTO FIT

Not only was Lisa stylish, but she had vision.  She spoke more about her life and future plans than her classmates and worked until they came to fruition.  While the rest of the cast went off to California University for Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Lisa took her talents to the Big Apple to pursue a career in fashion design.

SHE ALWAYS TRAVELED IN STYLE 

Lisa knew how to accessorize-- whether it be statement earrings or the perfect Louis Vuitton luggage to compliment a pink shorts suit.  She would never be caught dead wearing the Jansport backpack Jessie seemed to favor.

HER STYLE WAS EFFORTLESS

Though Lisa was always decked in lavish clothing, her style was best depicted through her perfectly coiffed hair and poised confidence.  Even in loud color blocked suits and clashing patterns, she never looked as though she was trying.

SHE NEVER STRAYED FROM A GOOD COSTUME

Throughout the years, Lisa's costumes never disappointed-- from a Halloween as Wonder Woman to the perfectly haloed garb fit for a goddess.  I'm not sure I know too many people who could make a faux fruit necklace look edible.

SHE WAS A MEMBER OF ONE OF THE GREATEST #GIRLGANGS OF THE 90S

With Jessie Spano leading the the fight against the patriarchy, Kelly and Lisa always did their part to make sure Zack and Slater were always aware of any sexist attitudes that may have been instilled in them as adolescents.  While the show didn't touch much on race, I recommend everyone check out a new digital re-imagination of the show entitled Saved by the Bell Hooks.

Who are some of your favorite characters from the 90s?  Comment below!

Toi Bly